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“Needs a few tweaks.”

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Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Appleby
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Needs a few tweaks.”
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Overall we were pleased and enjoyed our 2 day break. To be fair the place could do with a little refreshing in parts if they aim to maintain 4 stars. Plastic flowers in the restaurant and antiquated signage must go. The staff were very pleasant and nothing too much trouble. Coming from a hospitality background I maybe critical however please don't be put off as I am sure you will enjoy your stay. Fab location and grounds lovely and well maintained.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 28 August 2014
Many thanks for your kind comments regarding your recent stay at Appleby Manor.
I am so pleased you enjoyed your stay, I will of course post your review on our staff notice board so the whole team can take pride in your review.
We do have a refurbishment program that is ongoing, and we are also building a brand new spa complex in 2015 which will replace our current leisure club.
I will also pass your comments on to our great house keeping team who are really unsung hero's and contribute a great deal to the appearance of the hotel.
I would like to thank you for your time and efforts that you have taken to let us know about your pleasant experience with us and look forward to welcoming you back

Mike Dunbobbin
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  • Location
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (512)
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English first
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed here in August after having seen the hotel featured on Secret Escapes, read the rave reviews on Trip Advisor and the information available on the hotel's own website.

On arrival the hotel appeared as advertised. However, it soon became clear that our expectations had been set too high. The staff were very pleasant and welcoming throughout our stay, and we were given a thorough tour of the facilities before being shown to our room. From there, small issues began to manifest, which detracted from the quality and pleasure of the experience.

We were surprised to find that the 'Garden View' room that we booked, at a rate of £129 per night (including breakfast), was equipped with an adjoining door leading to the neighbouring room. This particular feature made the conversations of our neighbours clearly audible to us, and the inverse was no doubt true - reducing the privacy of the room greatly!

In addition to this, the pictures on the web site give the impression that the seating area outside the 'Garden View' rooms is private or off-limits to other guests - this is not the case. The doors open out onto a communal patio, further reducing the privacy of the room and hotel. In fact, there was nothing to stop other guests from sitting outside our room and looking in through the large French doors; although we didn't see anyone doing this.

In addition to the lack of privacy, the arrangement of the room's furnishings was difficult to enjoy - with the television fixed to the wall in a location that made it difficult to view from the bed. This made the only option to watch it repositioning the two armchairs and sitting independently - not ideal for a couple in love!

Our final criticism of the room was the en-suite. Not only was the bathroom filled with Best Western stickers and instructions to guests (confusingly), but the shower curtain across the bath was a nightmare; in addition to setting the scene from the movie 'Psycho', the shower curtain was (frustratingly) fixed at the opposite end to the shower head and did not travel all the way to the end of the bath.

Despite the fact that we had some issues, the cleanliness of the room and the wider hotel was of a very high standard, even if the decor and fixtures are a little dated. It may be a personal preference, but we didn't feel that plastic flora throughout the hotel created the right ambiance. Further to this, the dwarf mannequin 'Laurel and Hardie' ornaments featuring widely in the hotel are not in keeping with the hotel's online persona and were - frankly - creepy, particularly at night on stairway landings.

The hotel provided tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms, which were more than adequate and kindly replaced the shortbread biscuit selection on a daily basis; these were in fact quite nice! Moreover, the hotel provides wi-fi access to its guests within the room rates, which was no worse than could be expected. At peak times the wi-fi slowed down as guests likely checked the weather, planned their days and hit Google maps in force. That said, despite internet access being widely available, the hotel staff have either been instructed to or feel the need to scribble in coloured leaves on the wall in the entrance hall to show the day's weather forecast in a child's tree drawing of annual weather patterns?

Guests whom are anticipating a lie-in should be aware that the breakfast in the hotel is served from 7:30 to 9:30 am, and pyjamas are not considered acceptable breakfast attire. You must be up and eating much like any normal work day. If we're honest, this information was available on the hotel's website in advance, but is hardly obvious at a cursory glance. We are used to hotels offering breakfast until late into the morning for guests whom may enjoy late evenings or do not habitually rise with the sun. On that note, if you intend to be out past 11:00 pm, be prepared to formally request permission from the hotel staff, whom will provide you with a key. Do not hope to use the main car park however, as this is locked at 11:30 pm - though a less favourable alternative is available. Arrangements such as these are rigid, inflexible and take much of the spontaneity out of your holiday.

Before booking the hotel we were intrigued by the 'AA Rosette' that had been awarded to the restaurant, and was much lauded on their website and by other guests reviewing on Trip Advisor. I wish that we had looked at the AA definition of a single AA rosette - AA Rosette awards range from 1 to 5 Rosettes, making the award of one Rosette a less impressive accolade. The AA define the single Rosette award as "standards that stand out in their local area" and it is awarded at the time of inspection. Given that the hotel is rooted firmly in the middle of nowhere, the local standard is easily competed with and it only considers the food quality on the day.

Regarding the breakfast, the pancakes were particularly enjoyable and the cooked breakfast was very nice. The 'buffet' that accompanies the cooked breakfast menu is severely limited, and the quality of offerings there does not reflect the quality of the cooked breakfast menu or even the price. While the service at breakfast was good most days, we were disappointed to be ignored or forgotten on our second day in favour of other guests. It was clear that we were not eating food from the buffet and were waiting to order from the breakfast menu, however the hotel staff seemed incapable of taking more than one order at a time and staunchly refused to take orders in any order other than that of entry into the restaurant - waiting for each party to finish their cereals in turn!

Finally, the quality of the much lauded food in the restaurant was well below the level of expectation set by other guests, the hotel's website and the single 'AA Rosette'. We ate the scallops, venison and chocolate fondant (in that order, and yes we did order the same thing!) and found them to be underwhelming. We do enjoy fine dining, and are more than happy to pay prices above those charged at the hotel. However, fine dining this is not. The food was at times undercooked, bland, overcooked and, relatively speaking, over-priced. We’d have photos to share with you, but the hotel have banned the use of mobile phones in their restaurant!? Do not be surprised if your food doesn't look like the pictures on their website.

We will not be returning to The Appleby Manor Country House Hotel, and encourage prospective guests to think carefully before parting with their money.

Room Tip: Ask for a room without an adjoining door and do not select a garden view room if possible.
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Green Features: The hotel has an industry standard towel re-use policy, but no evidence of other practices seen during our stay.
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Matthew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 5 September 2014
Thank you for your review, i am so sorry that some aspects of your stay did not fully meet your expectations. I am pleased the food and service you received from the staff was to our usual high standards. Thank you for your comments about the cleanliness of the hotel i will pass your comments on to the housekeeping department.
We are unfortunately dependent on BT for the speed of the wifi connection which due to our location is only 4mb/s we are due to be upgraded to fibre in the autumn of 2014. The weather tree is very popular with the majority of our guests and we do sell a large number throughout the year.
Breakfast is as advertised and all times are relayed to guests during the welcome show around, The car park to the rear of the hotel is open 24 hours a day and during our 14 years at the hotel have never had an incident in either car park.
So sorry you did not enjoy your meal in the restaurant, i really wish you had voiced your concerns when you were in the restaurant, that way we could have cooked your dishes to your liking. We do as guests to refrain from using mobiles in the restaurant as a courtesy to other dinners we have found over the years that someone talking loudly on the phone is unwelcome by most of our diners.

Regards

Mike Dunbobbin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2014

This visit to this wonderful Country Hotel was to be our Fourth in 2-years as it was business mixed with pleasure that lured up back up to .Cumbria.
We stayed two nights Dinner B&B Package and was upgraded to their Garden Room attracting a £30.00 surcharge.

Dinner was taken with Two guests in the Formal Dining Room , the service was superb as was the standard of cuisine both- quality and quantity.

However, the king sized double bed was far from comfortable and certainly appreciated my own bed after completing our stay.

Suggest the Hotel management sample the new beds before they embarked on mass purchase as I am certain other Hotel Guests have also voiced their misgivings.

Room Tip: Sample the bed
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 28 August 2014
I will pass your fabulous comments on to the front of house team and the chefs in the kitchen, all of which will be delighted that you enjoyed your stay so much.
Great to hear you have come back to Appleby manor and we met your already high expectations, we do get a lot of repeat visits from our guests and it is always nice to welcome back a familiar face.
So sorry the mattress was not to your liking, we have had some positive comments about the beds, I suppose its a personal preference we do tend to pick a firmer mattress as most of our guests seem to prefer these.

We all look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!
regards
Mike & Angela Dunbobbin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2014

My wife and I have stayed at Appleby Manor a few times over the last 4 years and it never disappoints. The hospitality, comfort and food quality are of a consistent high standard and just the job for a relaxing break in superb surroundings. This time we took advantage of a deal that included tickets to visit the Birds of Pray centre, which was excellent, and included dinner in the restaurant for the first night and in the Bistro for the second. In itself this was excellent value so imagine our delight when we arrived to be given a complimentary room upgrade. As I mentioned, we do like this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Flat-Cap-Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 22 August 2014
Fantastic! Many thanks for your review. We do feel passionately about the hotel and the service our guests receive, its quite personal as we put a lot of time and effort into the hotel to create a relaxing and friendly atmosphere. A hotel is not a hotel without its staff, so it's uplifting for them when they receive praise. Many thanks for your time in sharing your experience at the Manor.
Its also great to hear you thought the break was great value for money.
Keep an eye on our website as we regularly post special offers throughout the year, We hope to be able to welcome you back again soon,

Many thanks
Mike & Angela Dunbobbin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We came here through Groupon. We stayed for three nights, including Friday and Saturday. Our room was small but had all necessary amenities.We had a complimentary glass of prosecco and fruit meringues as part of the deal, which were a lovely extra. Our room overlooked the car park. The room was clean and comfortable. We ate in the bistro on two nights and the restaurant for one. All meals were very good and the waiting staff were very obliging. The breakfasts were also very good. The hotel was not at all corporate, but just as advertised, a country manor house. Our only complaint was with the leisure complex.The sauna wasn't working and the steam room had to be switched on, on request. It was only getting hot as my husband left. The weather was not the kindest. All-in-all, a very good place to stay whilst exploring the area.

Room Tip: If you do not go as part of a deal, I would expect that you may get a larger room with a better view...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CindyH4537
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 22 August 2014
Thank you so much for your great review of the manor. Its fantastic to know we are doing something right and it does give all the team a buzz to know our guest are enjoying their time at Appleby manor. Thanks for highlighting all the great things to do in the local area we are really blessed in our situation so close to the Lake District, North Yorks Dales and the Pennines.
Thank you for your constructive comments about the leisure club, it is on our to do list but obviously a job of that size takes time to plan and fund
Hope to welcome you back in 2014.
Regards
Angela & Mike Dunbobbin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

We booked this hotel at the very last minute after trying to find somewhere to stay in Keswick. We were a little disappointed that we couldn't get a hotel closer or in Keswick but what a find!
The staff just couldn't do enough for us! The food is great (especially the Bistro) and the views from the hotel are superb!
Our huge thanks to all the staff for making us feel so welcome.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LloydMason-Edwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 22 August 2014
Really pleased you could not find anywhere in Keswick! Their loss is our gain.
Many thanks for your great review, so glad you enjoyed your stay, i will of course pass your comments on to all the departments in the hotel so they can take pride in your review.

Hope to welcome you back soon.

Mike & Angela Dunbobbin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paisley, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
213 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

This hotel has to have one of the best outlooks. The views from the hotel terrace and some rooms extend over the town of Appleby and the Castle, over the Eden Valley and to the Lakeland hills in the distance. The view alone would make you sit here for hours.
We had a spacious garden terrace room, tastefully furnished in light oak. Beds were comfortable as were the Queen Anne style chairs. The room was very quiet but had occasional noise from upstairs floorboards squeaking.
The 1871 Bistro served good value food in pleasant surroundings , but the main dining room offers a more extensive selection and enjoys the superb view over the valley.
The wine list is comprehensive and well priced ( including some less frequently found bottles eg Picpoul). They also carry a range of excellent locally produced Gins.
All the staff from reception, dining room, bar , housekeeping were pleasant , efficient and attentive.
The hotel is an ideal base for exploring the Lakes, Yorkshire, Northumberland and Tynedale.
We booked this hotel on an 'itison' voucher deal and would rate this the best stay we have ever had out of all the deals we have purchased.
The only downside was the pillows as they were all very flat but I did ask for more and they were brought very quickly.

Room Tip: book a garden terrace room as the views are outstanding.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank intipusscat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike2507, Owner at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, responded to this review, 22 August 2014
I wiil pass your fabulous comments on to the front of house team and the chefs in the kitchen, all of which will be delighted that you enjoyed your stay so much.
We do pride ourselves on providing great food from local sources, we make great efforts in making sure our menu uses great quality food from as many local sources as possible.
We do try to create a relaxing and friendly and unstuffy atmosphere within the hotel and It is always our aim for guests to leave feeling relaxed and with a smile on their face, its really motivational for the team to know we succeeded in this goal.
We all look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!
regards
Mike Dunbobbin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa

Property: Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa
Address: Hotel & Garden Spa Roman Road, Appleby CA16 6JB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Eden District > Appleby
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Appleby
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa is set in Cumbria within the Eden Valley on the edge of the Lake District, it is surrounded by the magnificent mountains and fells of the North Pennines and is close to the Yorkshire Dales.4 National parks within a 20 minute drive. Appleby Manor is a four star luxury Lake District Country House Hotel with everything you need including warm open log fires, excellent hotel bedrooms, a fine selection of wines and whiskies together with an award winning restaurant that offer superb views over Lake District fells. The Luxury Garden Spa at the manor is the newest destination spa in the Lake District, perfect for pamper days and relaxing spa breaks.Indulge in our unique aqua thermal journey and lift your spirits with one of our 80 rejuvenating spa treatments. Why not avoid the congestion of Windermere and other Lake District Hotels, explore the hidden Lake District - the Eden Valley, while staying at Appleby Manor Country House hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Appleby
Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa Cumbria

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